I didn’t watch the Academy Awards last night (The Other Charlotte did, and will be soon posting her comments), but from what I could tell from the Internet coverage, good taste has finally returned to Oscar night. The ladies kept their dresses on, and Michael Moore kept a lid on. The Lord of the Rings:The Return of the King, my favorite movie of 2003, made a sweep with 11 awards–great news for a movie that celebrated optimism, hope, and beauty instead of cynicism, despair and ugliness. Shire 1, Sauron 0–yay! 

Meanwhile, Reader E.C., writes from Leiden in the Netherlands to praise our March MoDo Watch, our regular guest-blogger Cathy Siepp’s monthly rundown on that wacky-but-lovable redhead Maureen Dowd, the Lucille Ball of the New York Times op-ed page. Cathy was especially astounded at one of MoDo’s February columns implying–tee hee, get the joke?–that because we couldn’t find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the Butcher of Baghdad’s Baathists must have carried plastic guns. Cathy wrote, quoting Maureen:

“‘How does a country that goes to war to disarm a country without arms get back its face?’ she asked Feb. 12 in ‘The Khan Artist.’ I guess that was an anatomy joke. But was Iraq actually unarmed? You’d think from her tone we’d invaded Switzerland.”

E.C. offers a correction:

“For the record, (in response to a very minor point in your most recent critque of MoDo), Switzerland is among the most armed nations in the world (per capita). Virtually every able-bodied man (aged 18-55, I believe) is required to keep an armed rifle at the ready (usually underneath his bed) as part of the national militia. Sweden is probably the least armed with weapons. France is the least armed with courage (except when it comes to picking fights with schoolgirls, and then Frenchman are really brave!).”

Hmmm, maybe we should invade Sweden. Or better yet, France.